Some fruit, a frog and a marshmallow walk into a blog…

Welcome, friends! Today we are going to talk about fruit. And frogs. And fluffy marshmallows. Aside from the alliteration, you’re probably wondering what those things have in common. Well, in the real world, not much, I’ll allow. But in the kitchen, they can come together to make something wonderful. Oh, alright, the frogs aren’t really frogs. But I had you going for a minute, didn’t I? Today’s recipe is a creamy fruit salad that often goes by the name of Frog-Eye Salad. Now, before you run for the hills thinking this is some kind of witchcraft (2 cups eye of frog, 1 bat wing, 3 pinches of earth spirits) let me explain. No wait, let me sum up. This salad contains little pastas that gave someone the impression of being like frogs’ eyes. If the name grosses you out, feel free to change it, but either way, give this salad a try, because it really is incredibly yummy. It’s pretty sweet, so I sometimes serve it as a light dessert, rather than a side dish.

Here’s What You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup Acini de Pepe pasta (it will look like little beads, almost as if someone chopped up spaghetti)
  •  1 package (3.4 oz) instant pudding mix. In my family we have traditionally used the pistachio flavor, mostly for it’s green tint, but in trying to cook for those with nut allergies, I stumbled on a green vanilla pudding by Jell-O. If that doesn’t do it for you, you can use plain vanilla and leave it white, or add a few drops of green food coloring.
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 package (8 0z) thawed non-dairy whipped topping (such as Cool-Whip)
  • 1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks in juice; drained, juice reserved
  • 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice; drained, juice reserved
  • 2 cans (20 oz) mandarin orange segments; drained
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows

Here’s What You Do:

  • Bring about 4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add pasta, and boil for about 10 minutes, until just tender.
  • Drain pasta in a mesh strainer (it is too small to drain in a colander) and rinse with cool water until the pasta is at room temperature
  • While pasta is cooking, whisk the pudding mix and cold milk in a large mixing bowl for about 2 minutes
  • Gently fold in the thawed whipped topping. The best way to do this is to mix a small amount into the pudding (called “lightening”) and then fold in a third of the whipped topping at a time. To fold, put the whipped topping in the middle of the pudding, then using gentle strokes, cut down into the mixture, scrape along the bottom of the bowl, and fold the pudding back over itself. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat. 
  • When whipped topping and pudding are combined, add fruit, marshmallows and pasta to the bowl and gently mix until evenly distributed.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. The salad needs that long to fully set and for the flavors to blend. It will be even better if you make it a full day ahead and leave it in the refrigerator over night.

Here’s How You Use It:

  • Serve as a side dish at family gatherings. It is especially good with barbecue, roast chicken, or spicy foods.
  • Serve as a light dessert, especially in the summer.
  • Grab a spoon and sneak into the refrigerator…no one has to know…

Peace Be With You

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